si dawson

experiments in self-improvement

Month: December, 2008

Rewrite Your Past

Memory is notoriously unreliable.

It’s a fair bet that most of the memories we have are confused, jumbled, or otherwise incorrect. Certainly not accurate enough to hold up in court – this is, after all, why policemen write down everything at the scene of a crime.

The funny thing is, these are the memories that we torture ourselves with. Regret over things done or not done. Disappointment at other people & ourselves. Perceived failures & missed opportunities.

Even when we’re not actively beating ourselves up, those memories are still there in the background, providing (unpleasant) flavour.

If our memories are likely to be wrong (to some degree) anyway, why not at least make them pleasantly wrong? Who’s to say they have to be an accurate reflection of the past? Surely what happens in your head is 100% your business?

Of course, changing your memory of your phone number isn’t the cleverest thing in the world, but there are plenty of other juicy candidates. How about

  • all those situations where you’ve been socially confident, the life of the party
  • the successful presentations you’ve given
  • how popular you were at school
  • all those payraises
  • the deeply loving & supportive relationships
  • the peaceful breakups
  • how effortless it’s been for you to meet new people
  • those moments with your parents where you truly understood how much they loved you
  • that long history of high figure sales
  • the times you’ve stunned those around you with your brilliance & insight

You get the idea! Make your (remembered) life as beautiful, poetic & magical as you like!

joyful_thought.jpg pic by alicepopkorn

It’s your brain – own it!

So how to do this? Well, it doesn’t have to be any more complicated than finding a quiet spot, remembering back to specific life situations you’ve had, and imagining them going however-you-want. Keep imagining them until the old memory fades away & the new replaces it (this is very well researched phenomena). If you feel like part of you is struggling with this, you can always tap while you do it, but that’s totally up to you.

Your life is nothing but the sum of your memories. Why not start a new life, right now?

Just start with whatever pops in your head. Recreate your memories, making them as awesome as you possibly can. As Orwell famously said “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” Well you control the present.

As within, so without.

& here’s a little anecdote to whet your appetite. I had a particular situation with a certain person a few years back, where perhaps they didn’t give me the recognition or appreciation I would have liked. In the few years since then, they’ve never really mentioned this, let alone made any kind of big deal about it. Just not in their nature.

So hey, I did the above. Imagined them really understanding how much effort I’d put in to help them.. and showing me. I imagined myself feeling deeply appreciated. Loved. Thanked. It was awesome! *laugh*

Didn’t take long. The whole thing? Maybe 5 minutes.

The only difference I could outwardly detect was that I felt more loving towards them. That aside, I promptly forgot about it.

Next day, I’m surfing the web, & what do I find? A couple of paragraphs in a very public location, from them, acknowledging & stating exactly what I’d imagined. Giving me that thanks, that appreciation. Exactly how I (now) remember it going.

Coincidence? Maybe. You decide.

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    The Map’n’Tap – clearing complex issues

    A lot of times trying to heal something can be a bit crazy. Often there are so many things that seem relevant that it’s almost impossible to know where to start, let alone where to go from there.

    So, what to do, what to do?

    What I’ve found works well is to mind-map the issue out, and then tap your way through the map.

    What’s a mind map? Well, there’s a ton of ways of doing them, but the simplest is just to write whatever-issue-it-is in the middle of the page, then just draw lines out from there to anything else that pops into mind while thinking about the issue.

    From there you then think about each of those things, and draw lines outward, just connecting each thought to any others that pop up.

    (I have a couple of examples below)

    This has a lot of benefits:

    1. Rather than having to come up with everything in one go, you can just spit bits out as they come to you
    2. Once something is written down, you can drop it from your mind rather than having to hold everything in short-term memory
    3. By focussing on each sub-issue in turn, it’s much easier to find subtle, smaller related facts that may otherwise have been lost – often I’ve found a core issue right at the root of things only after tracing through 4 or 5 links
    4. Roughly speaking, the closer in to the centre of the page, the more significant something is.

    Number 4 is important, because in terms of tapping (or whatever healing method works for you), you can then start from the outside in. In the examples below, just follow the red arrows. You tap/heal the ‘leaves’ right on the outside of the map, then slowly work your way into the middle. At each point, you don’t have any related issues getting in the way or slowing things up – either because what you’re healing is right on the edge, or because all the smaller, related issues have already been healed.

    This also really helps with the need to be specific, in order for tapping to work well.

    Now with some issues the maps will come out stupidly simple:

    map_simple.jpg

    And sometimes they’re an absolute mess:

    map_complex.jpg

    (Yeah, these have both been blurred to heck & back. The details aren’t really important, just the relative messiness)

    It really doesn’t matter too much how you do them, if you want to draw instead of write, or anything. It’s your head, so your stuff. You’re not doing it for anyone else.

    The really interesting thing is – once you’ve cleared one map, you can redo it, and often completely different stuff will come up. By clearing off that outer layer of gunk, you can see/feel your way to deeper things, things that you previously wouldn’t have been able to see for all the mess at the higher level.

    It’s a nifty tool. I’ve done TONS of these things in the last few weeks – and combined with finger tapping, even the most complex one I’m usually completely cleared in maybe 20 minutes. When I can look at a phrase or bubble & feel like it just doesn’t matter any more, then I just move inwards, nice & simple. Eventually I’ll be healing the centre item directly, and it generally just collapses & clears with ease.

    As an approach it works a treat. It’s swiftly become my favourite tool for understanding & clearing complex issues.

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      Bring In The Clowns

      I’m not usually a huuuuge fan of clowns, but I got an urge to go for a walk this evening, & I stumbled across these..

      clowns_1.jpg

      ..dancing to music, often upside down, as part of a giant advent calendar..

      clowns_2.jpg

      ..part way up a 10 storey building. I figured, well, in this case they’re probably worth cheering on.

      While I was out, I took a pic or two of the local river..

      yarra_at_night.jpg

      ..which is hellishly pretty at night.

      And it seemed to be a night for clowns, since I passed this (advertising god knows what) on the way back:

      clowns_3.pg.jpg

      Although I like to think it’s just saying “Eat more vege’s & dance like a loon!”

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